“Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).
The word translated as “sorrow” in this verse is really interesting. As you might expect, it means grief, worry, anger, and pain. But it’s also a word meaning make, shape, carve, and mold. This is a negativity you create yourself. It’s a reality made by focusing on what’s gone wrong in the past, or constantly worrying about what could go wrong tomorrow.
I know what that kind of pain can do to you. I know how it drains the life from you. But it’s not your identity. You are who God says you are. You’re his child, fully empowered to overwhelm hopelessness with his love, peace, and joy.
Let this prayer soak in as you read it:
“Father, I pray for healing and strength in every one of my friends today. Physically, emotionally, spiritually—that they would be whole in you. I pray every pain and disease would be gone, every wound healed, and every heartache comforted.
I pray they would see themselves as you do, and that your love for them would revive their hearts, your peace renew their thinking, and your joy fill them to overflowing. Amen.”